Not only do we know how to handle the insurance companies and complete the work, but throughout the entire process we also want you to know and understand what is going on and why it is being done. This starts with you having the right resources to make an educated decision, but it will be carried though in everything we do. We won’t do anything on your insurance claim or your house without you first knowing about it and approving of it.
If you have any questions that are not addressed on this page, please contact us and we will be happy to answer any question you have.
Damaging Storms are not unusual, they are happening all of the time. Every year in the United States millions, often even billions, of dollars are spent by the insurance companies to repair damage caused by natural events.
Relative to roofing, damaging events will be associated with wind (straight-line wind, tornadoes, hurricanes, etc.) and/or hail storms. The type of damage each of these events causes is very different but each of the events results in a roof that is no longer an adequate waterproof covering for your home.
Asphalt/Fiberglass shingles will have “bruises” on the shingles as a result of a damaging hail storm. In these spots the shingle has literally been crushed, reducing the waterproof integrity of the shingle and usually causing the granules of the shingle to release and fall off. The granules on the top of the shingle protect the asphalt layer from exposure to the UV sunlight. With the granules now missing, the sunlight will deteriorate the asphalt of the shingle and it will begin to crumble away – eventually resulting in holes in the shingle.
This is what is so deceiving about hail damage; often a water leak does not become visibly evident until weeks or even months after the storm. The real enemy after a hail storm is time, the longer you wait the greater the chances are you will have problems inside your home as well as on the outside. Don’t expect your roof to leak right away, but it will leak eventually if it is not taken care of.
Wind damage is relatively obvious, except in the case of broken seals or torn fasteners. The greatest factor on how well your roof will withstand the wind will be the age of the roof. With age the sealant between the shingles as well as the shingles themselves begin to dry-out and become brittle, this makes it much easier for the wind to get under the shingles, break and damage the shingles, and even blow complete sections of the roof off the house.
It is true that certain shingle types and designs will withstand wind better than others, but if it is too old design will make little difference. It is also true many new shingles can carry a wind warranty up to 130 miles per hour, but that is for new shingles and only if they were installed to meet high wind specifications.
Regardless of the event or how much damage you can physically see, it is our recommendation to always have your home and roof checked after any severe event.
Unfortunately, unless the shingles have been blown off the roof and are now in your yard – you are NOT going to know if you have damage by just looking at the roof. Broken seals, torn fasteners, and hail bruises are things easily ignored unless you have been trained to look for them. The best thing you can do is to contact a professional contractor who will provide an honest evaluation as to the condition of your house and roof.
We DO NOT charge for this service and an honest inspection will provide you with the information you need to know if the damage is bad enough that an insurance claim is warranted. We DO NOT recommend to determine this damage with your insurance adjuster first – if it turns out you don’t have any damage then you filed a claim for no reason. Too many “zero dollar” claims starts to make your account look bad to the insurance company – like you are trying to get something for nothing because you are always filing claims.
There are actually many answers to this question, but the most direct answer is because “hail” and “wind” are two of the three basic perils that are covered on every standard homeowners insurance policy. Meaning they are legally obligated to pay the claim when wind or hail has caused the damage.
Are there other reasons such as customer service or preventitive care; yes these are reasons but they all come second to the fact that there is a legal obligation you are entitled to because you bought the policy and paid your premiums.
If you are already reading this you are on the right track. The most important decision you are going to make, regarding the repairs to your home, is the contractor you choose to handle your insurance claim and repair your home; and yes, they should be the same person/company. Storm damage repair is unique because the contractor needs to know more than just how to build – they also must know insurance guidelines and procedures. Choosing a contractor who only has knowledge in one of the two areas will cost money, time, frustration, and very likely quality of craftsmanship.
For example: You may know a contractor or have one in the family who does great work, but he has never done insurance claim work. He has no more knowledge than you do on how to work with the insurance company to ensure there is enough money to make the repairs. It doesn’t mean he is a poor contractor, it just means he doesn’t specialize in this area. You wouldn’t take your car to a transmission shop when the air condition isn’t working, Right? This is the same thing.
Choosing a contractor is not just finding someone who specializes in storm repair, you want the right contractor. There are a number of companies to pick from, but unfortunately there are more unqualified contractors than qualified ones.
First Thing to Do – Contractors Inspection
Andes Contracting recommends contacting your contractor first before anyone else, even before the insurance company. The first service a contractor should provide is a free damage inspection and a recommendation of how to proceed. Make sure to always request pictures of any findings, especially if the recommendation is to proceed with an insurance claim.
The short answer is that it provides you with the knowledge to make a good decision and the protection of a professional relationship and recommendation. But you may still be asking, “Why do I need that, I will get that from the insurance company?” As Paul Harvey youst to say, “here is the rest of the story.”
Through marketing and advertising insurance companies have created the image for themselves that they are here to protect the homeowner, and they sell insurance policies because of that. That is their business, selling policies and collecting premiums. Paying claims is a loss to an insurance company, reducing the profitability of their business. But you may say, “If they don’t pay they will have a bad reputation and eventually go out of business” – true.
But this is the question they have asked, “How could we have both? How could we pay fewer claims and still keep our customers.” And that is exactly what they are doing to unknowing consumers. But don’t take our word for it see what the American Association for Justice had to say.
The American Association for Justice has released a publication entitled “The Ten Worst Insurance Companies in America” and you may be shocked who made the list. But more surprising is the information contained in the report.
This report can downloaded at: The Ten Worst Insurance Companies in America
In this report a Senior Executive at the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) is quoted as saying, “The bottom line is that the insurance companies make money when they don’t pay claims.” The report goes on to explain the insurance company had contracted consulting firms to show them how to increase their bottom line. The results can be summarized in the insurance company was instructed to deny claims even if they were legitimate using a strategy of deny, delay, and defend – before paying out claims.
We are not only informed of these practices, but are trained to know how to work within the system that exists. While there are some practices that are industry wide, there are also others that are specific to one insurance company or another. Often knowing how to work with the insurance company is the difference between a successful settlement and one that gets lost in the “red tape” of the insurance world.
So, Why have an inspection? An inspection from a qualified contractor, like Andes Contracting, is the beginnings of a very valuable relationship. And, in light of this new information, it will provide you with a trained advocate who knows how to work through the insurance claim system and ensure you received the necessary funding to repair your home properly.
When doing insurance work, the first thing to understand is that the cost is pre-established – neither the homeowner, the contractor, nor the insurance adjuster has a say in the matter of the unit pricing; it is all pre-established by a third party.
Today most of the leading insurance companies have adopted a standardized pricing system set by a third party company called Xactimate. Xactimate is a database company who monitors the market price for construction labor and materials in many markets around the country, and then sells the information to insurance companies and contractors alike.
What this means to you, our customer, is that we can guarantee your out-of-pocket expense will NEVER exceed your deductible amount when you have a replacement cost insurance claim. The insurance policy you have been paying covers 100% of the cost to replace whatever was damaged, less your deductible. Therefore, your deductible is the maximum out-of-pocket expense you will ever have to pay when using Andes Contracting.
If you already have your claim, then contact us for a FREE claims evaluation and you may find your roof will cost you far less than the deductible.
There are as many different types of roofs as there are materials to cover them, the important thing is that no matter what type of roof you have the proper steps and materials are used to build your roofing system. That is the key, and the short answer to this question; a “Good Roof” is a system working together – not just shingles.
A common misunderstanding in roofing is that the part you can see from the ground (most commonly asphalt shingles) is the most important part of roofing or what makes a roof “good”. The reality is that each part of the system is equally important, one missing link can create problems. Since you cannot see all of the components, this is where many contractors “cut corners” to offer cheaper prices. We not only strive to provide superior service, but also to install a premium roof; never cutting corners and using the right products for the right applications. And, last but not least, provide supervision to ensure your project is constructed to the standards we have shared with you.
- Steep Slope Roof: A roof surface of at least 3 units vertical for every 12 units horizontal; a roof pitch of at least 25 degrees.
- Roof Covering: The top layer of material used to cover and protect the roof surface. (Shingles, Tile, Slate, Metal, etc.)
- Roof Underlayment: Base layer material installed above the sheathing but under the roof covering.
- Sheathing: Wooden boards or sheets fastened to the roof structure to form the roofing surface.
- Roof Structure: The framework of the roof; Rafters or trusses, constructed to support the sheathing.
- Flashing: Metal material installed in a roof system to protect and cover various joints and valleys and prevent water seepage. (Typically used around chimneys, side walls, and valleys)
- Ridge: The external angle formed by two or more sloping roof planes, typically at the top of a roof.
- Valley: The internal angle formed by the intersection of two sloping roof planes.
- Gable or Gable Roof: The vertical triangular portion of the end of a building having a single horizontal ridge and double-sloping roof; a roof that terminates at a gable end.
- Hip or Hip Roof: The inclined external angle (not horizontal) formed by the intersection of two sloping roof planes; a roof with one or more hips.
Once the insurance company has approved the claim for the replacement of the roof; they don’t care what material you choose, but they will only pay for replacement material of “like kind and quality.” Simply stated, the insurance will provide enough money so your roof can be replaced to look just like it did before the storm; same style – same material.
If you want to upgrade the material on your roof, now is a great time. But, that doesn’t mean the insurance company is going to fund the upgrade for you. Selecting a different product now allows you to upgrade at a minimal cost to you by only paying the difference in material cost – no added markup.
If you can’t decide what product would look best on your home or just can’t pick a color, we may be able to help. All of the major shingle manufactures have some kind of digital shingle selector, giving you the ability to see different shingle styles and colors on multiple homes and even upload a picture of your home. One that is easy to use is from Certainteed Color Selection
1) To use your own home, follow the above link to the GAF website and click on the tab at the top right that says “Use Your Own Home” and follow the on-screen instructions.
2) Or, if you would rather choose a preloaded picture similar to your home, then follow the same link above but on the upper left click on the tab that says “House Type/Model” and after you have selected a picture click on the tab on the right that says “Roofing Options” and follow the on-screen instructions.
Whether this helps or not, make sure to discuss your options with your project manager. We can bring samples and even full shingles to your house so you can see the real thing before you make a final decision.
Every year manufactures are making improvements in these products and today even the entry level products perform better than the premium products in years past. Today almost all asphalt shingles are referred to as a fiberglass composition shingle because they are made of more than just asphalt and have a reinforced fiberglass core. With the advances in manufacturing and technology and improved design and durability, today approximately 75% of all roofing is being done with some type of asphalt based fiberglass shingle.
Within this style of shingle there are three (3) main categories to choose from: 3-Tab, Architectural, and Heavy-Weight Designer
1. 3-Tab Shingles:
This shingle is extremely common and is the least expensive choice. For years this was the standard in all roofing, but with an array of choices, today this shingle is less common than the Dimensional Shingles. The name comes from its design; a solid piece of material that has two cuts in it to produce “three tabs.” This shingle is still a good option and will waterproof your home for many years, but it does not have some of the cosmetic advantages of other designs and it is more susceptible to high wind damage.
2. Dimensional Shingles (sometimes called Architectural Shingles):
Many homeowners are upgrading their roofs to this product as it is superior in design and functionality to the 3-Tab Shingle, and does not have a high upgrade cost. Dimensional Shingles are designed to simulate a three-dimensional appearance of wood shakes and offer more color choices than the 3-Tab Shingle. In design they are superior as well as they are constructed of one solid piece of material that is two layers thick, allowing the shingle to pass wind tests of over 130 mph.
3. Heavy-Weight Designer Shingles:
Within this category there are many different designs depending on the “look” you want to create for your home. If you would like to consider one of these products, then talk to your project manager and they will bring books and samples to you and help you decide which one will be best for your home. Other than design the most noticeable difference in this product is the thickness and the weight. It is not uncommon for these products to weigh two and even three times as much as an Architectural Shingle.
If you are considering this upgrade, allow extra time for the project to be completed and expect some delays. 1) We will need to order an engineer’s report to verify the roof structure was constructed strong enough to hold the additional weight. 2) These products are not usually stock items and will require more time for special order and delivery.
Within these three design types advances in technology have also resulted in new “Impact Resistant” Shingles. To the eye, these products look the same but many of them are constructed of material other than asphalt; SBS Modified Rubber is one such material. If impact resistant shingles are something you would like to consider for your home, let us know and they will be happy to discuss the advantages and disadvantages with you.
Looking for more information? Make sure to discuss your concerns with your project manager, but the manufactures websites also have a great deal of information.
Recommended Manufactures: GAF, Ownes Corning, CertainTeed, and Tamco
Wood Shingles and Shakes:
With the increase of composition shingle options natural wood is less common than it once was, but it still makes for a very sound and beautiful roof. The shakes and shingles are made commonly made from cedar, redwood, southern pine and other woods; originally these were all handmade but today machinesawn is much more common.
A point to consider: Some local building codes limit the use of wood shingles and shakes because of concerns about fire resistance. Many wood shingles and shakes only have Class C fire ratings or no ratings at all. However, Class A fire ratings are available for certain wood shingle products that incorporate a factory-applied, fire-resistant treatment.
Tile (Clay or Concrete):
Tile roofing is considered a very durable roofing material, and will hold up to almost all severe weather conditions. If you have a tile roof already, it should still be checked after a severe weather event but it is likely there is no damage to the roof. Originally, this product was specific to Spanish and Mission Style architecture, but today a variety of shapes and styles are manufactured. Similar to Heavy-Weight Designer Shingles the roof must be engineered to hold the weight of this product, without the proper engineering this upgrade would not be possible.
Above are the most common types of shingles, with the most popular being the Asphalt Composite Shingles. But there are still others to choose from: Slate, Metal (in many varieties), Rubber, PVC, Plastic, Fiberglass, and still other synthetic varieties. Each has unique qualities that are superior under certain circumstances and we will be happy to discuss them with you. If you would like more information on any of these products please ask your project manager and we will provide you with whatever you need.
If the thought of filing an insurance claim and replacing your roof seems like it is just too much, you’re not alone. Many of our customers call us because they aren’t sure what to do; this is what we are here for. Fortunately, when working with an experienced contractor things go very smoothly and it isn’t so bad. Here is how the entire process will go when working with Andes Contracting:
- Receive a free photographed damage inspection from Tuttle Contracting and confirm the necessity of filing an insurance claim.
- Call your insurance company and file a claim. They will tell you someone will call to schedule a time for the adjuster within a week to ten days.
- When the adjustment is scheduled notify your Andes Contracting and we will put it on our schedule to be there also.
- We will meet the adjuster at your property as your professional representative; it is your choice to be present or not, but it is not necessary.
- Typically, the insurance adjuster will complete the adjuster summary and mail it to you within 7 to 10 days. But, some adjusters are authorized to complete the summary and issue a payment on the same day. Either way, when you receive your adjusters summary contact your us and we will meet with you to review the summary for accuracy.
- If adjustments to the claim are necessary we will take care of them before the work begins.
- With an approved adjuster summary, the construction phase of the work is ready to begin. We will write the orders and submit them to the production department.
- Material will be ordered and you will be notified by your Andes Contracting when the material will be delivered to your home.
- Once the material is delivered, we will collect a 50% payment on the project and notify you when the work will begin. This 50% payment will be equal to or less than the first installment check received from the insurance company, not requiring any of your money at this time.
- Within days, possibly the next day, the work will begin. Most work will be completed the same day it is started. But if your home is difficult in design or larger than normal the project could take a couple of days. No matter the circumstances, we will be there throughout the process to keep you informed. If you are having Siding and Gutters replaced as well, then the siding work will follow the roofing in a similar manner of the material delivery and the start of the work. Gutters will be the last phase of the work to be completed to ensure there is no damage to the new material.
- Either Andrew or Mike will be present throughout the day or days your work is being completed and will complete a final inspection on each phase (roofing, siding, and gutters) once the work is complete.
- Upon completion we will submit final documentation to the insurance company, notifying them the work is complete and the value it was completed for. This will cause the insurance company to process the final claim payment and release it to you, NOT us as the contractor. Typically, the final installment will arrive within two weeks.
- Upon receipt of the final installment from the insurance company contact us to make final payment on your project. The sum total of the insurance proceeds will cover the cost of everything except the value of your deductible. At this time you would pay your ONLY & MAXIMUM out-of-pocket expense, your deductible, to Andes Contracting.
A common misunderstanding in roofing is that the shingles (the part you can see) is the most important part; when in reality each part of the system is equally important. Since you cannot see all of the components, this is where many contractors “cut corners” to offer cheap prices. We not only strive to provide superior service, but also to install a premium roof; never cutting corners and using the right products for the right applications.
- After the roof is removed, the decking/sheathing will be checked for damaged or rotten areas and then new underlayment must be installed over the sheathing. The underlayment should be attached to the roof using “plastic cap” nails and each course should overlap the next by three to four inches.
As with shingles there is a variety of types of underlayment to choose from. For years tar saturated felt-paper, commonly called “felt” or “tar paper” has been the standard in roofing underlayment and is still the most used product today.
- Special attention is to be taken around sensitive or vulnerable areas of the roof; valleys, skylights, chimneys, attic vents, plumbing vents, side-walls, etc. This special attention may involve altering or customizing part or the roof to protect these areas and increase the roofs ability to shed the water efficiently. In these areas, Andes Contracting will also use an ice & water shield barrier as an additional layer of protection to further prevent future problems.
- Once the proper underlayment has been installed, all vents and pipe jacks should be installed (with the exception of ridge vent which is put on after the shingles). While there are a variety of options, all of the vents and pipe jacks are specifically designed to cover and protect penetrations through the roof. But that doesn’t make all vents equal. Depending on the design of your roof, your Andes Contracting will recommend the most effective options for your home. In addition, it is a standing policy that we replace all vents and pipe jacks along with rest of the roof.
In contrast, this is often where low cost contractors will attempt to “make-up” some cost by NOT telling the customer and NOT replacing these fixtures – they simply reuse the old. This is strongly discouraged as the useful life of these fixtures is limited and it is far more costly to replace them later than it is now along with rest of the roof.
- At this point, you could say the roofing surface has been prepared and you are now ready to begin installing the shingles. The shingles will be installed from the bottom up and will follow a repeating diagonal pattern with a staggered joints. Each shingle must be properly nailed along the designated “nail line” with the nails penetrating at least ¼” through the decking. When done properly with an attention to detail it will result in a waterproof roof that is both functional and cosmetically appealing.
Once the body of the roof is fully covered with shingles, then the ridge caps must be installed. If the roof design calls for ridge vent, then the ridge vent will also be installed at this time with the ridge shingles being nailed over them. Care should be taken to ensure the ridge lines are straight and that any exposed nail heads are covered with a UV resistant sealant to ensure a water-tight surface.
- Andes Contracting not considered the roof finished until all of the little details are complete. All fixtures on the roof will be painted to blend and match with the color of the roof you have chosen, the roof will be blown and/or swept off, your gutters will be cleaned out, and the roof will receive a final inspection by either Andrew or Mike Wendler.
- On the ground, everything will be picked up and transported off of your property. Care will be taken to protect and clean around sensitive areas, such as flower beds, hard surfaces will be swept or blown off, the lawn will be racked to pick-up the little pieces as well as the large ones, and large magnets will be used to ensure nails are not left all around your home.
Other Factors to Consider
Roof replacements are expensive and it cannot be changed after the decision is made. We recommend that you consider all of the pros and cons of each choice before making the decision.
- How long do you plan to say in the house?
- Will the product improve resale value?
- Is the decision purely cosmetic or are there functional advantages?
- Are there local climate reasons to choose or avoid certain products?
- How often does your area have damaging severe weather?
- How much is your deductible? Meaning is it cheaper to put on two or three roofs than to pay the cost of one upgrade?
- Are other houses in the neighborhood making upgrades?
- Will the insurance company offer a premium discount if you install an upgraded roof? If so, how much of a discount?